Staying Connected

The COVID-19 Pandemic has profoundly changed almost every aspect of life for families across the nation, including the more than 38,000 new families served by NFP. We know that many NFP families are facing illness, job loss and disruption in critical services alongside fear and anxiety. But, NFP families, and the NFP nurses that support them, are strong and resilient. In responding to this crisis, NFP nurses haven’t skipped a beat. Thanks to the creativity, tenacity and skill of our nationwide team we have:

  • Quickly shifted to 100% telehealth services nationwide, building on lessons learned from three years of implementing telehealth as a supplement to live visits.
  • Adapted our enrollment and nursing education processes so that we can keep adding new nurses and enrolling moms in need safely.
  • Established a partnership with Verizon to put phones and cell phone service into the hands of moms who need them to access telehealth. To date over 3,200 phones have been sent to 39 states.
  • Advocated for increased flexibility in government funding streams that support NFP and similar programs to allow for telehealth and to support meeting tangible needs for families.
  • We will continue to follow CDC recommendations and will consider steps to reinstate in-person home visiting once national COVID-19 safety measures are in place and showing success. 

NFP Nurses

NFP nurses are well positioned to provide guidance to moms and their families (including infants and children) regarding when to seek medical care and when to utilize information lines or reschedule appointments if possible (e.g. a routine well-child checkup). They are also able to ensure families are connected to additional resources in the community needed during this crisis, such as access to food or housing assistance.

NFP mom Terri and her daughter Aubrielle

Karen helped Terri prepare for what to expect and provided her with emotional support throughout her journey as a new mom. Terri’s daughter, Aubrielle, had many health challenges and nurse Karen continued to help Terri encourage Aubrielle’s development.

Meet Terri, Aubrielle and Nurse Karen

CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Challenge: NFP nurses are being redeployed to support COVID-19 Response. As of mid-June, about 15% of our nursing workforce in various parts of the country is being reassigned to respond directly to COVID-19 cases.
 Solution: Telehealth and Flexible Visit Schedules By leveraging telehealth visits and maximizing the flexibility in visit schedule built into the NFP model, nurses are finding ways to successfully keep supporting NFP moms while reassigned. We have lifted any restrictions or limitations in the use of telehealth – telehealth may replace in-person visits during any phase of the program, including enrollment. 

Challenge: Some NFP moms don’t have the technology to access telehealth. A national survey revealed that at least 2000 NFP families did not have access to a mobile phone or internet connection to be able to stay connected with their nurse virtually.
 Solution: We established a partnership with Verizon to put phones and cell phone service into the hands of moms who need them to access telehealth. To date over 3,200 phones have been sent to 39 states. 

Challenge: Addressing sensitive issues via telehealth Some NFP moms are dealing with sensitive issues like violence in the home, substance use disorder, or mental health needs, that can be harder to address virtually.
 Solution: Bring expert advice and support to give nurses confidence in addressing these topics virtually. NFP nurses have the skills and education to address sensitive topics like intimate partner violence, which we are boosting with additional support and education from experts about how to use assess and address these issues via telehealth. 

Phones for Families Initiative

Phones for FamiliesOur Phones for Families Initiative ensures that no mom loses access to her NFP nurse when she needs it most.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as Nurse-Family Partnership rapidly transitioned in person visits to telehealth, a gap in our ability to serve every client emerged. Based on surveys of our entire network, it was estimated that up to 10 percent of moms lacked access to a telephone, representing nearly 3,800 expectant and new moms in our program.

The National Service Office moved quickly to ensure that moms would not lose access to her nurse during this challenging time. We are providing smartphones at no cost to these moms thanks to a partnership with Verizon and Action Technologies Group. More than 3,200 phones distributed to date in 39 states.

General guidance about COVID-19

  • We strongly advise you to access information about COVID-19 directly from vetted sources that are updated regularly. Two examples are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO)
  • For guidance regarding pregnant women and children, the CDC has a “specific groups” information page which is updated regularly.
  • Deciding to Go Out Guidance from the CDC on how to continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.
  • Stress & Coping The CDC shares ways to manage and reduce stress for yourself and others.
  • Stay current with local updates and guidance on clinical practice from your local, or state, public health authorities.

Public Policy

Our policy priorities during this crisis reflect both the programmatic flexibilities that are needed to continue to deliver NFP to moms who need it, but also the healthcare and social services that will be required to meet their heightened needs during this time. Learn more about our expanded public policy priorities in response to COVID-19 including emergency funding for MIECHV, Medicaid and healthcare coverage and access to broadband, wireless and childcare.

NFP PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) were signed into law in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, these bills provide free coronavirus testing, establish short-term paid leave, enhance unemployment insurance, expand food assistance programs and increase federal funding for housing assistance. For most of these provisions, relevant federal agencies will be working directly with states to get the resources and relief to the families that need it.

COVID-19 Legislation: Provisions that Benefit NFP Families

resources for families

Support for NFP families and others who need help managing the disruptions in every day life and work created by the COVID-19 pandemic: